The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

August 29, 2009

Day care dilemma: Facilities’ funding cut by state budget stalemate

Another in an occasional series on how the state budget impasse is affecting residents in Greater Johnstown.



Day-care Director Debbie Sweetser has come to know the underside of the “trickle down” theory, in which the state’s financial distress has become her own.

“We’re at the epicenter of a financial disaster,” said Sweetser, who runs Carolyn’s Child Care Center in Geistown for owner Carolyn Oliver.

“We’re just trying to ride it out. The employees haven’t been paid for a week. ...”

Sweetser wants to keep the operation running but doesn’t know how long she’ll be able to.

Hundreds of people are counting on her: 30 employees, 120 kids from age 6 weeks to 12 years and their parents.

Carolyn’s Child Care is a private company but receives state support for 75 percent of the children it watches because their families are in need.

Because of a bill pushed through the Legislature, subsidies for the day-care services and meals have not fallen to zero. But the centers are getting paid only 10 percent of their promised state funding.

As the state budget deadlock enters its third month Tuesday, Carolyn’s loss has reached about $50,000 – and it’s growing.

Sweetser breaks it down.

Carolyn’s is supposed to be paid $40,000 total from Pennsylvania for July and August but is receiving just $4,000, a shortfall of $36,000. The day care is receiving $120 for the $1,200 per week it’s owed for meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks. In the nine weeks for July and August, the center is out another $9,700.

Now, Sweetser’s shortfall is poised to affect her vendors.

She wonders how long she’ll be able to pay in full the Loretto-area farm that supplies her milk and the Johnstown company that sells her paper towels and toilet paper.

“If you can’t afford to pay for that, you’re done with little kids,” said Sweetser, a 12-year employee.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • WilliamsA ‘I thought I was going to die’

    Hornerstown resident Robert “Bobby” Williams said he endured two hours of surgery, suffered a heart attack and fears he may never again be able to fully use his right arm.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • JFD traing Firefighters practice river rescues

    Johnstown Fire Department members lift a “victim” out of the rescue basket during training Wednesday along the Stonycreek River flood-control wall

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    Here are the names of the 10 entrants that were chosen today-April 22, 2014.  If you see your name, call the Circulation Department at 814-532-5000 (#1) or 1-866-307-0905 to verify your information.

    April 22, 2014

  • sewer meeting map Sewer work will tie up traffic

    Brace yourselves.
    This summer’s sewer main replacement project will delay traffic with detours, closed streets and lane restrictions through one of Johnstown’s notoriously snarled neighborhoods.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • USS Somerset USS Somerset arrives at San Diego homeport

    The USS Somerset is home.
    The amphibious transport dock ship named in honor of the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 arrived at its new homeport of Naval Base San Diego on Monday.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jablonski, Stephen Charges filed in courthouse bomb threat

    A Johnstown man was charged by Ebensburg Borough police Wednesday with threatening to blow up the Cambria County Courthouse, a call he admitted to Ebensburg police he made Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vizza, Peter Vizza voted deputy mayor

    The top vote-getter in last year’s Johnstown City Council election is now also the city’s deputy mayor.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Conemaugh Township rezoning opens business possibilities

    A portion of South Main Street in Davidsville will be rezoned to give greater allowances to the businesses along the road.

    April 23, 2014

  • Sculptor’s work to be raffled off

    The work of a local sculptor will be raffled off during the Art in Bloom show.

    April 23, 2014

  • Katie and Gary Lamer Birthday remembrance bash provides aid to region

    It’s been four years since Johnstown resident Gary Lamer died of complications from pneumonia, but his memory lives on through an annual party that gives back in a big way.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads